“This was a coordinated attack, more of a commando-style event. It had both coordinated fire — direct fire and indirect fire. There appeared to be military maneuvers approaching the facility.” - House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich. to CBS News
Experts believe the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others and left three more wounded in Benghazi was a planned and coordinated para-military operation. The timing coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. The mob violence seems to have been used as a distraction.
The shooting started about 10 pm local time Tuesday night. There were about 30 Americans in the consulate compound guarded by Libyan security.
The attack was conducted in two phases, the assault group of about 20 men breached the compound using rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns. They then precisely struck a secure facility where the Ambassador was located. The fight lasted some four and half hours.
Extremists have recently threatened revenge for the killings of al Qaeda’s latest dead number two guys, Saeed al-Shihri in Yemen and Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan. I am sure the noisy campaign season celebration of the death of Osama Bin Laden has also irritated Islamists.
CNN reports that U.S. surveillance drones are being deployed to eastern Libya to locate jihadi camps and targets linked to the attack. Expect Libyan forces to conduct a series of raids in the next two weeks. As more details are discovered, we will fill in the blanks.